Source: Times Online
An Anglican clergyman elected as a bishop has defended his right to use the practices of Zen Buddhism to deepen his Christian faith.
Conservatives in The Episcopal Church of the US are demanding that Rev Kevin Thew Forrester, a priest in the diocese of Northern Michigan, be barred from the episcopate because he received a "lay ordination" from a Buddhist group.
For his election to be ratified, Dr Forrester will need the consent of a majority of bishops in The Episcopal Church as well as of diocesan standing committees.
Conservatives in the US, who have so far failed to unseat the openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, have already begun an internet lobbying campaign in an attempt to undermine support for Dr Forrester by claiming he is a fully-fledged Buddhist.
They are also citing two other recent cases. In 2004, the Rev Bill Melnyk was inhibited by the Bishop of Pennsylvania for proclaiming that he was a practicing Druid as well as an Episcopal priest. In 2007, the Rev Ann Holmes-Redding was inhibited by the Bishop of Rhode Island being a practising Muslim as well a priest.
But in an interview with The Times, Dr Forrester said he was neither a Buddhist nor a Bhuddist priest and that he used Zen meditation simply to deepen his relationship with Christ. It was also a means to deepen understanding of the mystery of suffering, he explained.